The New York State Museum, located in Albany, New York is the oldest and largest state museum in the nation. It began in 1836 as the State Geological and Natural History Survey. As the years advanced, the museum advanced as well.
It has become a research and an educational association committed to preserving New York's rich artistic, social, historical, and environmental legacies under the auspices of the New York State Education Department.
I have been to several museums in upstate New York and this one is my particular favorite. They have many permanent displays and the newest one is surrounding the 9/11 tragedy at the World Trade Center in New York City. The displays include a fire truck that was destroyed, firefighter’s uniform that was damaged and a structural beam from one of the towers. There are many larger than life photographs from the horrific tragedy as well.
Another of my favorite exhibits is the Sesame Street exhibit and when you are there, it is as if you were on the set of the show. There is a television set that plays the shows as well.
You can step back in time and climb aboard a car of the old A Train and there are mannequins dressed in period clothes on the train as well. The Adirondack exhibit has displays that show the rich heritage of the Adirondack Mountains from the Native peoples that inhabited it, to the animals that used to inhabit it up to present day animals that can be seen there. There is a Native American longhouse on permanent display that you can go into and see what that is all about as well as many other Native American displays.
The New York State Museum has many temporary displays that run for months at a time throughout the year such as bugs, dinosaurs, flowers etc… There are many paintings and displays from artists throughout as well. They even have a room for kids to go in and play to get their pent up energy out and one of the things in there is a sandbox that they can search for fossils.
Also for the kids and for the kids in us is a huge carousel up on the fourth floor. The carousel was built sometime between 1912 and 1916. It works and is surrounded by large windows that you can look out on to the city of Albany while riding the carousel or just sitting there while the children ride.
If you are in the Capital District area of New York, stop in and visit the museum. You will not be disappointed and do plan on spending a few hours in there. There is no cost to go in but they do accept donations to keep the museum up and running.
Be sure to visit the large gift shop on the first floor as well. The museum is well worth the trip from just about anywhere.